The History Of Yoffe/Yaffe Family

The origin of the Yoffe family is in Russia. At the beginning of the 19th century, the family immigrated to Israel and was one of the veterans of the Ashkenazi Jewish settlement in Hebron.

The branch of the Yoffe family that immigrated to Eretz Yisrael first, as far as we know, is that of Rabbi Yisrael Yoffe (the "printer from Kapost") and his family.

Rabbi Yisrael Yoffe and his wife Shaprinza had six sons: Ephraim, Aharon-Moshe, David, Mordechai, Shmuel and Shlomo.

Rabbi David Yaffe and Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Yaffe, the sons of Rabbi Israel Yaffe immigrated to Israel in 1777, together with Rabbi Menachem-Mendel from Vitebsk and about 300 other Hasidim. Rabbi David Yaffe settled in Tiberias, and in 1806 he was sent by the Sephardic community in Tiberias as a doctor to North Africa.

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Yaffe lived in Safed, and perished there in the earthquake in 1837.

The third son of Rabbi Yisrael Yaffe, Aharon-Moshe Yaffe immigrated to Israel in the early years of the 19th century together with his wife: Rabbi Feige, and settled in Hebron. When they came to Israel, due to a storm at sea they could not anchor on the shores of the Land of Israel, so they anchored in Egypt and rode to the Land of Israel on camels.

After the death of the 'Old Rebbe', his son the 'Middle Rebbe' ordered Rabbi Israel Yaffe to immigrate to the Land of Israel, where three of his descendants were already there. Rabbi Yisrael Yaffe, who was already an old man, did the commandment of his rabbi and immigrated to Israel. Rabbi Ephraim Yaffe, the eldest son of Rabbi Israel Yaffe, also immigrated to Israel, but after about thirty years he went to Russia for a visit, fell ill and died in the city of Arsha.

Ephraim, the son of Rabbi Yisrael Yoffe, had three sons: Zvi Hirsch, Abraham and Israel. Zvi-Hirsh, who was born in Hebron in 1842, married Reizel, and they had five children: Aaron, Esther, Ephraim, Gitel and Gera.

Our family is the descendants of Aharon Yoffe, who was born in Hebron, and knew many wanderings in his life.
Aharon first married Pesia, daughter of the Rupman family, the oldest of the Gedera colony. Aaron and Pesiya had five children, namely: Zvia, Zvi, Moshe, Hasia and Tzipora. However, Hasia died in her youth.

Later, when Pasia fell ill with typhus and was on her deathbed, Aharon Yupa married Pasia's sister: Sarah, and to them were born: Hana, Yitzchak and Menachem.

As mentioned, Aharon Yoffe and his family knew many wanderings, which began in the Hebron suburbs in the early 20s of the 20th century, and continued in Syria, Be'er Sheva, Gaza Tel Aviv, and Zichron-Ya'akov.

One of the landmarks on the family journey was Beer Sheva, which in the twenties was a tiny town, with 4-5 Jewish families in total. In Be'er Sheva, the Yoffe family opened a hotel, which was located on Keren Kemet Street, in one of the only two-story houses in the city at the time:

After a two-year stay in Be'er Sheva, the family moved to Gaza, which was considered a large city at the time, with modest houses, plenty of water and fresh air. By the way, later on, the hotel operated by the Yoffe family in Beer Sheva was abandoned when the Jewish residents abandoned Beer Sheva with the outbreak of the events in 1929.

The story of the Yoffe family during the 1929 events in Gaza:

Among the Jews of Gaza was the family of Aharon Yaffe, born in Hebron, an expert in operating flour mills and wells. With him were his wife Chaya-Sara and his children, one of whom is Yitzhak, born in Gaza. Aharon worked in Margolin's flour mill, and his wife Chaya-Sara operated a hotel in the city. The hotel in Gaza was in the center of the city in front of the mosque, and had a large courtyard with a small pool of water in the center.

Disturbances began in Gaza on the Sabbath after the Hebron massacre on 8/31/1929. Already on Thursday, Gaza was dead from rumors about the massacre of the Jews of Hebron, Motza and Jerusalem, both from the stories of travelers and from telephone conversations. Major Partridge suggested that all Gaza Jews gather in the closed yard of the Yoffe family's hotel, and indeed some of the Gaza Jews arrived at the hotel already in the morning. After two Jews were murdered in the city, all the Jews of Gaza - 44 people - came to the hotel of the Yoffe family, and locked themselves in it. The Jews locked up in the hotel were protected by five British police officers who were entrusted with guarding them.

During Friday, Arabs from Gaza, leaving the prayer in the mosque in a large procession, passed through the empty houses of the Jews who were in the hotel, burned, robbed and looted the Jewish houses as much as they could find, and even murdered, as mentioned, two Jews. The mobilized crowd, after the prayer in the mosque, called "Itbah al-Yahud".

During the Sabbath, the winds added to the storm. Around 11:30 in the morning, the hotel was surrounded by Gaza Arabs, armed with swords and shrapnel and shouting "Itvah al-Yuhud". The shower of stones that was rained on the gate to break it surprised the British policemen, and there were two Arab policemen left in the hotel yard who were assigned to call the police forces If there is any danger to the hotel's occupants. When the rioters threatened to break down the gate, the local postman, Mr. David Geshori, who was standing alone in front of the rioters, went out into the yard and fired his gun, which he held with a license by virtue of being a mandatory postal worker, several shots into the air, and indeed the rioters retreated.

The Jews were prepared to spend the night in a hotel on Saturday night when they were besieged. But the crowd incited by the muezzin in the city's mosques returned and attacked the hotel. The rioters managed to break through the gate and enter the hotel courtyard. Among the Jews besieged in the hotel was the local pharmacist, Dr. Yakar, who had a bottle of sulfuric acid in his pocket. He suggested pouring the acid on the rioters. The people of the room opened a narrow crack in the door and through it Dr. Yakar poured the acid in the faces of the rioters who were right at the door of the room. They fled the place with threatening cries and wails of grief, and for a moment the pressure in the yard was relieved.

In the meantime, one of the dignitaries of the Arab community arrived on the scene, Haj Said al-Shawa, who was friends with Hacham Elkayim and tried to calm the crowd, but without success.

Hai Shura Yaffe, who was at the end of the ninth month of her pregnancy, took advantage of the slight respite, took an iron rod in her hands and left the relatively protected dining room to the courtyard. She was pelted with stones, and nevertheless threatened with the iron rod the two Arab policemen who were in the yard to shoot in the air and thus call the police forces from the police station. The panicked police officers shot in the air, and the police station officers did arrive at the scene, and rescued the Jews to the police station in Gaza (around 20:00 on Shabbat evening). The British police put the Jews on trucks to take them to the train station, with the aim of taking them to Lod. The Arabs attacked these trucks, in order to finish and sabotage them before the Jews left the city. Al-Shawa again mobilized in favor of the Jews and with the help of his sons got on the trucks and drove away any Arab who tried to harm. Upon arriving at the train station in the dark of the night, the members of the Yaffe family and the rest of the Jews were put on the train on the Alexandria-Lod line. After a short stop in Lod, Arab, they arrived in Tel Aviv, where in a short time Chai-Sara gave birth to her youngest son - Menachem.

In Tel Aviv, the family lived on Maza Street for about a year, then moved to Haifa where Aharon Yaffe worked in the fuel pools ("Pinirim"). In 1931, the family settled in Zichron Ya'akov, where Aharon worked in the flour mill and the cloth factory. In 1933/4, the family owned a bakery in Zichron Yaakov, and the children of the family used to distribute bread throughout the colony on a donkey. Aharon died and was buried in Zichron Ya'akov in 1949. Chai-Sara continued to lead an active life in Zichron Ya'akov twenty-five years after her husband's death. She is buried in Zichron Yaakov next to her husband Aharon Yoffe.

To view the chart of Aharon Yoffe's descendants click here

It should be noted that the Yoffe family is an ancient rabbinical family. The first to use the name "Yafa" was Rabbi Moshe Yaffa Rabbi of Bologna in Italy around 1400. Among the elders of the family is Rabbi Mordechai Yaffe "Baal Habushim" 1530 - 1612, the author of the book Boshu Malchut which was used in his time as an important authority in the ruling of Halacha, until the writing of the Shulchan Aruch. A good source for the history of this family: "A Thousand Margaliots"

Other important family members:

Rabbi Yehuda Leib Yaffe

Abraham Ioffe - great physicist in Russia.

Rabbi Yoel Sirkish Yaffe from the author of the Habit Hadad 2h 1640 Lublin - 1561 Cracow

Rabbi Shmuel Yaffe Ashkenazi author of the book: Yaffe Tavar 1525-1595

Mordechai-Gimple Yaffe place of birth Itian, rabbi and rabbi Rozinoi excelled in his talents. Studied at the Volozhin yeshiva. He served for forty years More about this source textSource text required for additional translation information